DTI “cautions” against scams
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) cautions everyone against scams in this season of bonuses and cash windfalls.
“Giving bank account numbers, even without personal identification number (PIN) taught countless scam victims a hard lesson”, DTI said.
“The modus operandi is a text message, which claims that the promotion has a DTI permit,” shares Information Officer Lucille Autentico.
Under the law, sales promotion campaign should first secure permits from DTI to ensure that the public is protected against deceptive or irresponsible sales promo scheme, she revealed.
DTI through Autentico cited the case of a 23-year old young professional and office girl in Makati.
The victim just received her 13th month pay when she received a text message from an unknown cell phone number,” Autentico said.
The text message said: “Congratulations! Your cellphone number has won P680,000 at the Philippine Charity Foundation's third anniversary raffle draw last November 5. For more info, send your name and address. Call Sec. John Fuentes. Per DTI Permit No. 000812. Thanks.”
Thinking that was a scam but also trying her luck, she accordingly replied with a fake name and address.
The texter, who introduced himself as a Manila-based lawyer then asked for her bank account number where he can deposit the cash prize.
Thinking that her account is safe if she does not give her signature or Automated Teller Machine’s PIN number, she gave him her bank account number, DTI added.
It was after two weeks later, when she got back after the vacation breaks, did she realized she was victimized, Autentico relayed.
When the victim withdrew from her savings account, which she knew had a balance of about P10,000, she was shocked.
She was surprised when she learned from the ATM that she only had P.080 and her account was closed”, she told PIA.
Checking with the bank to trace her bank activities, the victim learned about a one time withdrawal on a holiday.
On this, the DTI warns everyone engaging in negotiations with strange persons or numbers through text.
“Be advised that when you are asked to provide your bank account number and the sender offers to deposit money into it, it surely is a scam”, DTI said.
Even if the text message appears to be credible because it comes from a trusted government institution or well known government official, never give your personal data and account numbers, warns Autentico.
Further, for prizes exceeding P500, the law requires that the winner be notified through registered mail, and not through text messages alone, she sums. (racPIABohol)